WASHINGTON (CNN) — Ten states, including Alabama, will sue the White House over its new transgender directive in schools.
In addition to the ten states, three individual school districts have jointed the federal lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and obtained by CNN. The states are Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona and Georgia. Two school districts in Arizona, one school district in Texas and Maine Gov. Paul LePage are also listed as plaintiffs.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, would challenge the controversial order, which tells school district to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. No other details were immediately available Wednesday about the number of states joining in on the suit. Abbott announced the litigation in a tweet.
Abbott, a former state attorney general himself, has made his lawsuits against the Obama administration a touchstone of his political profile. The state is currently awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration.
Obama has defended the directive as a measure to prevent bullying for “vulnerable” students.
“I think that is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are loved, and protected, and their dignity is affirmed,” he told BuzzFeed News in an interview last week.
Alabama’s Attorney General issued this comment about the complaint.
“The Obama administration has taken government overreach to an unprecedented level, directly challenging the personal privacy of America’s school children while threatening to withhold funds from schools which refuse to accept this form of coercion,” said Attorney General Strange.
“President Obama does not have legal grounds to rewrite the law. Congress was absolutely clear that federal law allows schools to have separate facilities based on the ‘sex’ of the individual, not their gender preference. This disturbing attempt to transform America’s classrooms into laboratories for the Obama administration’s social experiments will not stand up to the test of law,” Strange added.
The nonbinding guidance was distributed jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice earlier this month.